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Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council

Introduction

19th session of the Human Rights Council, Room XX © UN Photo/JeanMarc Ferre
19th session of the Human Rights Council, Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva
© UN Photo/JeanMarc Ferre


The special procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The system of Special Procedures is a central element of the United Nations human rights machinery and covers all human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. As of 1 July 2014 there are 38 thematic and 14 country mandates.

With the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), special procedures undertake country visits; act on individual cases and concerns of a broader, structural nature by sending communications to States and others in which they bring alleged violations or abuses to their attention; conduct thematic studies and convene expert consultations, contribute to the development of international human rights standards, engage in advocacy, raise public awareness, and provide advice for technical cooperation. Special procedures report annually to the Human Rights Council; the majority of the mandates also reports to the General Assembly. Their tasks are defined in the resolutions creating or extending their mandates.
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Visual Directory


Directory of Special Procedures Mandate Holders

Special Procedures Visual Directory Accessible - August 2014
English
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Annual Fact and Figures 2013


Annual Fact and Figures 2013

English
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Civil Society Handbook

Civil Society Handbook

Click here Chapter VI - Special Procedures and the Full handbook here (PDF, 1,28MB)

Videos


Visit of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons -- Italy, September 2013

Visit of the Special Rapporteur on truth -- Uruguay, October 2013

Visit of the Special Rapporteur on the right to water and sanitation -- Brazil, December 2013



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Feature stories

Feature stories about the Special Procedures of the
Human Rights Council.
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Contact us


Postal address:
Special Procedures Division
c/o OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Fax : +41 22 917 90 08

Enforced disappearances
The UN Working Group and the Committee on Enforced Disappearances call for new and better strategies to prevent, eradicate and respond to enforced disappearances.

Online mass-surveillance
“Protect right to privacy even when countering terrorism” – UN expert Ben Emmerson tells Governments engaged on mass surveillance online for counter-terrorism purposes.

Development and access to justice
“Development needs access to justice,” the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, tells the General Assembly in New York.

A drone is not a cop
UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions Christof Heyns raises alarm on the use of technologies that depersonalise the use of force –including armed drones– in domestic law enforcement.

Forensic services / Torture
To be effective, forensic services must be independent from law enforcement agencies, the Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Méndez, tells the UN General Assembly.

More press releases...

Contact us:


Postal address:
Special Procedures Division
c/o OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Fax : +41 22 917 90 08

For further information on how to submit communications on alleged human rights violations, please read the webpage on Communications and send your submission to: urgent-action@ohchr.org.